Tulsa a prime location for Amazon headquarters

Amazon has recently sent out a statement that it plans on building a new headquarters in North America. The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, stated that this new location will have around 50,000 added jobs.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum has stated that he is prepared to do “whatever it takes” in order to potentially secure the location for Tulsa. I agree. It would be a huge boost to Tulsa’s job market both working at Amazon and subsidiary companies that pop up to fit the needs of the new employees.
Amazon has created a website in which cities can apply for the opportunity. According to the Tulsa World, Amazon is looking for, “metropolitan areas with populations of more than a million that have the potential to attract top technical talent.”
They will decide the lucky city for their new headquarters in the next year.
While some, like Bynum, argue that Tulsa should attempt to win this bid, this plan is arguably a pipe dream and a potential waste of time for Tulsa. Some argue that the city of Tulsa government should focus more on fixing Tulsa’s problems. Tulsa only has a limited amount of resources and attempting to use them on this Amazon deal could potentially cause problems in the likely chance that the city loses the bid.
Instead of attempting to gain jobs from national businesses such as Amazon, the government should be focused more on helping out local businesses and allowing prosperity to occur in that way.
The potential problem with bringing large out-of-state companies is potential tax incentives. These tax incentives are practically non-negotiable in the fact that another city will provide them instead if one does not act first. It is a slippery slope when considering to the potential costs that one may incur. In bringing companies into town, the government loses potential revenue that it could need for the future.
Bringing business into town is also not always a victory for the government and the local townspeople. Walmart exemplifies the affects large national companies have over smaller cities. When they come in, they do produce jobs and provide income for people in the community. However, they also affect smaller businesses which cannot compete with Walmart in terms of prices. Problems also occur when Walmart leaves town when local business previously uprooted struggle to come back even with the loss of competition. The previous economic base collapses and the city is left in a vacuum.
However, people for this Amazon headquarters argue that the huge amount of job opportunities is worth the potential hassle that comes with it. For example in Seattle’s Amazon headquarters, there are around 50,000 jobs directly linked to Amazon in their campus. In addition, 40,000 jobs opened up at different local businesses such as restaurants and coffee shops that sprung up around the Amazon campus.
This large influx of jobs could be extremely useful for cutting unemployment in Tulsa for many types of workers. According to Amazon, “ the increase in personal income around the Seattle headquarters for people not employed by Amazon increased by about $17 billion dollars due to direct investments.” This shows that the massive influx of money does not only help out Amazon employees but other businesses as well.
On the claim that Tulsa is unable to compete with its larger city competitors, Bynum told the Tulsa World, “we recognize the competitive pool we are wading into here, but Tulsa’s history is that of a city that punches above its weight. Amazon is transforming the world, and Tulsa is positioned as the best place in the country for them to do so. We will submit a proposal to Amazon that makes that clear.”
According to Bynum, Tulsa may be the underdog but it will fight with the best of them for the people who live here in the city. It is not a waste of time and resources in order to attempt this competition.
So what are the costs and benefits of each scenario? It is not worth the large tax loss if the US does not gain enough jobs back as a recompense. For example, the Carrier factory deal started in 2016 by then governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, saved around 800 jobs for 10 years, but cost the state of Indiana $7,000,000 in tax incentives.
While it saved some jobs, the state lost millions in revenue that could be spent in other government agencies across the state. However while we do not know the potential government costs of an Amazon move to Tulsa, the potential job growth of around 90,000 jobs will effectively balance out any cost that Tulsa pays in an agreement to Amazon. Therefore, Bynum should continue with his pledge to do whatever it takes to bring Amazon to Tulsa. It would be a sizable improvement to the economy and help support the needs of the unemployed in Tulsa.

Post Author: Nathan Hinkle